The weather is heating up, the sun is out more and more often, and many of you have probably booked your summer getaway. Lucky you 🙂
If like me, you struggle every year with heat rash when the summer starts, with skin needing to get used to the sun again, then you have my sympathy. My tried and tested method is to prep skin properly and minimise the rash by applying a decent sun cream on all exposed parts, especially the backs of my hands which suffer the most :(. I also take an anti-histamine a week before I am going to be out in the sun, and then until skin is used to the sun and all heat rash has cleared. Oh the joys of having sensitive skin!
I use sun creams designed for children at the start of the summer – they tend to have the highest SPF and are very gentle on skin. And as my skin gets used to the sun again, I drop to a lower SPF and use the ones designed for us adults, although I don’t always opt for the ones designed for sensitive skin because I have found they just don’t make much of a difference, and you end up spending more money because, invariable, they make that particular variant more expensive!
So, my top 5 sun creams, 4 of which I have used time and time again. Please note that it’s a given that they will have broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
1. Vichy ideal soleil children’s face & body lotion spray SPF 50+ – a highly moisturising (contains their thermal spa water) but non-greasy and non-chalky sun cream. I prefer the spray because it is a bit lighter in texture. It is paraben and fragrance free, and water resistant. It costs £26 for 200ml and can be bought online here or on the high street.
2. Nivea moisturising sun spray – (had to go to the Boots website because the Nivea one won’t load the page). I have this one in SPF 30 and SPF 20. It has the signature moisturising qualities expected of a Nivea product, and only costs £6.50 for 200ml.
3. Piz buin allergy range – I have used the lotion and face cream in SPF 30 and SPF 50 respectively. It has a spray in the range too which I haven’t tried out. The body creams come in SPF 15, 30 and 50+, and the face cream comes in SPF 30 and 50+. I didn’t expect Piz Buin to get it right for sensitive skin but they have – it contains a shield (Calmanelle) which they say “strengthens skin’s resilience”. The lotion costs £13.50 for 200ml and the face cream is £12 for 40ml. All can be bought on the high street or online here.
4. Ultrasun extreme sun lotion for ultra sensitive skin SPF 50+ – it is water resistant, and contains no mineral oils, perfume, emulsifiers or preservatives which are known irritants of sensitive skin. This one is quite expensive at £18.50 for 200ml so I don’t buy it as often as the others. It’s a good solid sun cream, non-greasy and non-chalky. A luxury. It can be bought online here.
5. Shiseido wet force ultimate sun protection range – this is one I haven’t tried but want to. Shiseido are recognised for their prowess in sun protection, and they have brought out this new range which isn’t just water resistant but actually offers stronger protection when it comes into contact with water or perspiration, so having the opposite effect of all other sun creams – check out the science behind it all here. It comes in a lotion and a cream at SPF 30 and 50. I trust Shisedo’s products and would trust this one too. These are not cheap either, at £32 for 100ml and would be a luxurious treat, however you would probably not need to reapply as often after swimming. It can be bought online here.
I know this is a top 5, but here are 2 bonus ones – I have this organic one from Green People and it is lovely but leaves a thick chalky residue on my skin which looks obvious on me. The one I have is SPF25 and not fragrance free, so am guessing the new ones have been reformulated, which means they could have resolved the chalky issue by now. I bought mine when they first launched last summer. And one I haven’t tried personally, but have heard and read is great for sun sensitive skin is the Anthelios range from La Roche-Posay (a French pharmacy brand designed for sensitive skin).
Are there any that you have tried and know works for sensitive skin?